Today's blog is about fasting. Particularly bone broth or partial fasting for a period of 3 days. This involves a three day period of time where the only thing other than water that is consumed is bone broth. Typically 24-48 Ounces of broth per day. Bone Broth fasting is considered a “partial fast” where some calories are consumed, however, they are very minimal compared to a regular diet. For example, one cup of bone broth contains approximately 40 calories, so drinking 32 oz. of broth in a day would yield 160 calories.
Why in the world would someone do this? In short, this is a very restorative, healing thing to do. I recommend this for patients with suspected food sensitivities, digestive issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or for those who crave carbs and sugar and those are often signs of yeast, or candida, overgrowth. Taking a few days off from eating helps in a number of ways:
1) It is healing to the gut and helps cut down on food sensitivities. When the lining of the gut becomes compromised or “leaky”, it can start a cascade where the immune system becomes activated and your body may start to develop sensitivities to certain foods. Commonly those include things like wheat, dairy, soy, corn and eggs. Taking a break from foods that might be negatively effecting you plus nourishing the body with bone broth containing, among other things, Gluatamine and Collagen which are very healing to the digestive system. Inflammation in the gut is also reduced during this digestive break.
2) Strengthening and repairing tendons, joint and ligaments. Collagen, Glucosamin, Chondroitin sulfate and Hyaluronic Acid are just a few of the goodies found in bone broth that help repair tissue damage. What a great reason to drink up!
3) Helps keep hair and nails strong and healthy and off-set the aging process. Here we go again with Collagen and Hyaluronic acid! Both of those are very important for healthy, strong hair and nails. Healthy, radiant, youthful skin is also dependent on collagen, so this is a big deal in the anti-aging arena.
4) Helps support Healthy weight loss and Metabolism. It may seem like not eating for 3 days would drastically slow down your metabolism, but actually, thanks to the Amino acids found in the bone broth, muscle tissue is able to be preserved. Because a bone broth fast is low in calories and carbs, insulin response is greatly reduced and the body taps into it’s natural ability to use fat for energy. So many people eat so regularly and consume so many carbs that this process never has a chance to work properly so they never tap into their stored fat cells to liberate them for energy. We were designed to do this, but our modern diets very often do not allow for this.
5) Immune System Boosting and Healthy detoxification. When you have a break from consuming calories, your body is able to perform something called autophagy, which is a process where your immune system basically “Cleans house” and gets rid of unwanted, damaged and dangerous cells. This is a normal process and is very important to overall immune health. Things such as viruses, bacteria, cancerous cells, and many other nasty unwelcome cells can be targeted for destruction when your body can focus it’s energy on eliminating those things instead of digesting food. In addition, by consuming bone broth which contains glycine, you help your body produce more of the master antioxidant glutathione (which is made and can not be taken in supplemental form). Bone broth is a high sulfur substance and sulfur is what helps support a healthy and robust detoxification system.
So maybe you have seen enough to be interested in trying a 3 day bone broth fast. That’s a great idea for most fairly healthy adults. Here are a few people that should not perform this type of fast: Pregnant and Nursing moms, Athlete’s in a super intense phase of training who can not afford to be this calorie-restricted, very underweight individuals, those with histamine-intolerance. Histamine intolerance can be made worse by the natural histamines occurring in bone broth and can trigger reactions like itching, watery eyes, runny nose, etc. If that occurs, you might stop the fast and contact a functional health provider familiar with that condition. In my practice, we can use supplements to help with the excess histamine and vary things up a bit to achieve the same effects.
If you are a good fit for this fast, you might be wondering how to do it. Here’s the best advice I have on that.
· Schedule the fast when you don’t have commitments that will make it next to impossible. Ie: don’t try to do this and host a dinner party at your home or meet friends somewhere that involves food during this 3 day period.
· Allow lots of rest during this time. Make sure you can get a decent amount of sleep (7-9 hours per night) while you are healing and repairing. You might find yourself extra tired because of the healing and regenerating that is taking place. Take a few naps if you can!
· Drink a lot of water (64 oz. bare minimum) every day along with the broth. You will be drinking about 32 oz. of broth per day so you will be getting a lot of fluids.
· Practice meditation, gratitude and if applicable, spend time in prayer and reflection. You can use the time you would have spent eating for this!
· If you choose to exercise, do light exercise like walking, stretching, yoga, pilates, etc. and limit to about 30-45 min. Movement is good, you just don’t want to overdo it!
· Detoxifying practices like infrared saunas, Epson salt baths and things like massage, chiropractic adjustments, etc. are also great during this process.
What kind of broth do you use? You don’t want to go to the store and buy a box of off the shelf beef or chicken broth. You want organic bone broth. The difference is that the bone broth has been simmered longer and contains the high concentration of minerals, amino acids, and collagen that is not found in just regular “stock” or “broth”. If you can make your own, even better. I’ve included a recipe below. It’s super easy. It just takes a bit of time to simmer the bones so all the good stuff comes out! If you do use store-bought broth, just look for an organic source.
Homemade bone broth recipe:
-2 lbs. bones (beef or chicken. The best sources are knuckles, chicken feet, femur bones). You can mix chicken and beef or just keep to one type.
- 8 Cups filtered/purified water
- 1 tsp sea salt or more to taste
- Chopped herbs and veggies per taste and preference. Things like parsley, ginger, turmeric, onion, garlic and celery are great choices. Just chop them up into fairly big chunks as you will be discarding them later.
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar (to leach the minerals out of the bones)
Mix all ingredients together in a slow cooker or large stock pot. Simmer on low heat for 10-12 hours. You can go up to 24 hours, but do not go much past that as the broth will eventually become bitter.
You can store unused broth in a glass jar in the freezer (Just leave some room and don’t fill all the way to the top or the glass may break).
Hope you found this article helpful. This 3 day bone broth can really help cleanse and heal the gut.
Yours in Health,